Almost, but not quite.
Why am I picturing Berryman's demise as a Warner Brothers cartoon?
Photo taken October 28, 2007 - JB
Monday, October 29, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
This magnificent monster sounds so wonderful, yet you know there's a catch somewhere. A few guesses as to the secrets the monster protects:
Guess #1: He may be 4' tall, but is no more than an inch or two wide.
Guess #2: The ad neglects to mention your lovable new friend requires inflation.
Guess #3: The "special design instrument" to make him talk is a 24-page guide to ventriloquism.
Guess #4: Based on the monster's stance, this was the vendor's attempt to salvage a failed line of football star statues with a fresh coat of paint. Check out the poses found in many 1960s gridiron magazines or on sports cards to see what I mean.
Source: Strange Tales #158, July 1967 - JB
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
On Sunday, along with two intrepid explorers, I headed down to Buffalo to check out Doors Open Niagara. A full post is coming (Squiddity has a nifty take on the day), but here's one of the weirdest moments of the trip.While walking towards Buffalo City Hall, we noticed an odd combination of items on the sidewalk:
1) The bird had a rough day and finds solace in a flask left behind on the sidewalk.
2) The bird notices a barely-used lime slice and decides it would add a nice twist.
3) Either the bird realizes too late that booze, lime and birds don't mix, or decides in his alcoholic haze to end it all by slamming into the Statler building at MACH 3.
I apologize to Leonard Cohen for the last words on this tragedy...
Like a bird on a bender
Like a butterfly in a fender
He felt pain
On his way
To break free
Photos taken on Genesee St, Buffalo, October 14, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Once a year, Amy and I splurge at Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor. Thanksgiving weekend's summer-like weather provided a good excuse to devour high-quality sandwiches on their patio.Downtown Ann Arbor was awash in maize and blue. Almost all university-age people we passed were decked out in yellow and blue t-shirts, as the Wolverines battled their next door neighbours, Eastern Michigan. We drove into downtown via Geddes, a scenic route which conveniently dodged game traffic.
Afterwards, we wandered across the street to a farmers market. Endless baskets of fresh-looking poblano peppers and baby white eggplants. So tempting to sneak a few by customs ...until my common sense kicked in.
Postscript: Later on, we headed up to Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi for some advance Christmas shopping. Unfortunately, the store we specifically wanted to go to, the Discovery Channel's retail outlet, had left the building. We checked out the new wing, where our eyes popped at the prices in the new additions, especially Nordstrom. My eyes also bulged at the number of bad facelifts that passed by.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Before reading this, check out this week's trip back into the city's history over at Torontoist, spotlighting the 1955 provincial election and one nasty battle downtown.
Not all was humourous with our champion.
The Globe and Mail ran daily profiles of each riding within Metro Toronto, spotlighting the backgrounds and platforms of the candidates. Here's what the May 28th edition had to say about the champion, who ran in Eglinton:
Egomania appears to have been the least of his problems. Given the last platform, I doubt he would have coped well with the face of the city two decades on (perhaps he delved too deeply into researching his opera or suffered from overexposure to vibrations from timepieces). He finished in last place, with 317 votes. An attempt to run federally as a "Liberal Conservative Coalition" candidate in 1957 garnered fewer votes.
Ad source: The North Toronto Herald, June 3, 1955
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Clockwise from the top left:
* Family Coalition Party (near the Markham Fairgrounds)
* Freedom Party (Hwy 8, on the edge of Sebringville)
* Libertarian Party (near River Canard)
* Reform Party of Ontario (Hwy 21, near Forest)
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Nine-and-a-half hours on my feet - my key statistic for this year's Nuit Blanche.I missed last year's inagural edition, so I don't have the same sense of letdown that marks many accounts of the evening. My overall impression was that even if the art was a mixed bag, it was still a good opportunity to wander around the city in a nighttime party atmosphere and observe the reactions of others, at least until a combination of sore legs and non-existent streetcar service kicked in. One thing's for sure: crowds were definitely interested in checking out what was on view.
* Notepad, to mark down where I was, in case I didn't get around to writing this post unitl Christmas
* Official Program, to provide rough ideas of where to go
* Multi-pocketed corduroy jacket, to hold the first two items
* TTC day pass
You be the judge.
2:20 AM (right): Next stop was the Art Gallery of Ontario. Unlike the Gardiner, it was not wide open, which would have been appropriate given the theme was "goodbye party" (next week, it shuts completely for eight months to finish its current expansion). Instead of a last glimpse at the Henry Moores for awhile, an area was set up for passers-by to write goodbye cards. Another room was reserved for a DJed party, complete with screens showing a yule log video, but not much appeared to be happening, so I moved on. I poked my head into Cinematheque Ontario to check out 1916's Les Vampires, accompanied by a live pianist. Unfortunately, it was standing room only, so, again, I moved on.
After this, I wandered towards Zone C. I was starting to feel a little worn, but figured there would be enough ahead keep my brain distracted.
3:00 AM: Walking along Queen West, the Nuit crowd mixed with those emerging from bars and clubs. Not quite the ocean of people I saw in Yorkville (you could squeeze onto the sidewalk), but still busier than a regular Saturday night. I considered hopping on a streetcar to Trinity-Bellwoods, but all appeared to be headed east. Near Spadina, I saw a white limo door open. Out came a steady stream of spew.
3:05 AM: Overheard at Queen and Augusta - "I'm freakin' out, don't you f**kin' understand? I need to smoke!" Guess the crowd and withdrawl were a bad mix. Observing the stream of bypassers was entertaining, with no one sounding too aggressively blitzed. For several blocks I walked behind a group decked out in contrasting neon flapper wigs, bright wings and goth clothing.
raised the ire of this piece - I'm good at tuning such corporate advertising out). It felt as if there had been activities earlier which had wound down. Fluorescent Dome was intended to serve as "a beacon for the city", but the only signal I got was that I should have gone back to Zones A and B.
3:50something AM (right): I carried on westward, popping into the occasional crowded gallery. Weariness started to tell on bypassers, some showing the same lack of enthusiasm about this zone that I felt. One exception was a jam-packed Knit Cafe, where a crowd was busy making pom-poms.
I attempted to check out a workshop at Mercer Union, but missed the session by a few minutes and didn't feel like waiting 25 minutes for the next one. I headed down to King, hoping to catch a streetcar and avoid jams on Queen. Bad move - no service on King during the 4 o'clock hour, so I kept walking, to the detriment of my feet (I know, I should have flagged a taxi, but I had a day pass to use up, darn it!). Wound my way back up to Queen to catch a streetcar at Trinity-Bellwoods. After 10 minutes of waiting, I moved on, figuring I'd catch on car at another stop. I made it, very slowly, to Osgoode station without seeing a single eastbound car (at three westbound cars passed me).
I nearly let out an unearthly sound when I sat down in the subway.
I headed down, the first time I had ever been in the fabled station/filming location. Two cars were stopped, with rattling sounds all around, made more effective when a train rumbled above. I like how the eerie glow of the car number turned out in the picture on the right.
My final stop was at the Toronto Reference Library. I paid no attention to the displays, making a beeline for a set. I didn't even mind that they were running Ghost for the weary souls. I stayed for half-an-hour, then headed home.
Only six hours until I got up for Word on the Street!
Full photo set of the evening.
All photos taken September 29-30, 2007